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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Of course one cannot answer this question without knowing the significance of partner's pass of LHO's XX.

It might also be nice to get some idea what sort of agreements they might have about their XX (although I likely would be suspicious regardless of what they said).

My view is that partner's pass should mean that he wants to (or at least is willing for me to consider) defending (2XX).

If that is what it means, then I have a reasonable hand to take him up on that suggestion. The worst feature of my hand is my holding. If partner doesn't have a clear-cut lead, he is likely to choose a which might prove unfortunate.

I think it would be crazy for partner to pass the XX with any hand that had no interest in defending (2XX) given that he presumably has Lebensohl 2NT as well as 3 level bids available for other hands, unless of course we have some explicit agreement that his PASS is NOT a suggestion that we defend.

The alternative intepretation for his pass (but one that I think would require prior agreement) is that he has “no preference” among the unbid suits and, likely, a poor hand too.
Perhaps some 4=3=3=3 with very modest values.
In that case, I would have an easy 3, thankful that I actually have a 5 card suit.
Sept. 7
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 7
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To help calibrate your definitions of what a 4th seat 4 opener should (and should not) look like, here are some relevent examples from Mike Lawrence's “The Complete Guide to Passed Hand Bidding.”
"Either of these hands would be sound 4th seat four bids:
1. 2-QJ986532-AQJ9-void
2. AKQ9765-2-8-QJT5

But NOT:
3. void-AKJ9754-KQ9-KJ9
about which Mike says:
"Open 1 in 4th chair.
This hand is too good for a Four Heart bid.
In addition, and this is a real danger, your partner
doesn't need that much to make slam."
Sept. 7
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PH 2 response (assuming it is natural) with OP hand is TERRIBLE.

First of all it is absolutely Non-forcing. You are a passed hand, so your new suit bid cannot be forcing.

Second, it denies primary support. Could easily have a stiff and never more than two.

Just make a normal Drury response.

Or, with agreement, you might try a Fit-showing PH jump to 3. I would probably not do this opposite a *3rd seat* 1, but since partner is in 4th chair, it is probably OK as he will not have opened as light as he might in 3rd chair.

Still, the PH 3 JS is not really necessary with good Drury agreeements. For example,
after P-1-2(Drury)-2(artificial inquiry)-3 now should show this hand type.
Sept. 7
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Perhaps I don't understand the problem.

We seem to be missing 2 keycards (and likely other honors as well), so what else to do but pass and hope we can make 5?
Sept. 6
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For responses to 2, we play
1. with 4 cards in the other major, bid 2 of that major
2. else, with 3 card support for responder's major, bid
2 of responder's major
3. else typically, 2NT

But failing 1 and 2, opener might exceptionally try
rebidding 3 of his original minor with very strong
5 card suit (or a rare 6 bagger I suppose) instead
of 2NT.
Sept. 6
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You can certainly do it that way (lots of room for variation in XYZ).

But we like to maintain the “rule” that 3 level suit rebids are GF (and tend to be “pure” hands, else 2).

Thus, we put both our minor suit sign-offs through 2-2 relay. With sign-off, you obviously then pass 2.
With a sign-off, you correct 2 to 3 for play.

Also, we play that 2-2 then 2NT is natural invite but with *Clubs*. It is a suggestion that if opener doesn't want to play 3NT, responder would probably prefer 3 to 2NT.
With a staight NT invite (no option), just raise opener's 1NT (or 1M) rebid to 2NT directly.
Sept. 5
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Sathya,
That is a very good point.

It is useful to have a way for responder with 5332 shape (5 card major) and opening values to offer opener a “choice of games” between 3NT and 4M.

Simulations show clearly that 4333 opposite 5332 with 5-3 major suit fit and game strength perform better on average in 3NT than in 4M. This advantage for 3NT over 4M is particularly pronounced when 5332 hand's doubleton is opposite 4333 hand's four card suit, but even when not 3NT tends to be better. This is particularly marked at matchpoints, but even at IMPs it is often true.

So we define 2 (artificial GF) by responder followed by 3NT at his next turn (regardless of opener's rebid) as the 5332 “choice of games” hand type.
That is, 1m-1M-1N-2D-<2M,2OM,2NT>-3NT.

On some auctions, this would be (fairly) obvious even without explicit advance agreement, but on others where it may not be so clear, it is true “by definition.”
Sept. 5
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This is at least the 3rd time this hand has been posted.
Sept. 5
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That auction is not an “auto-splinter.”
After
1 1
1NT ??
The “auto-splinters” are 4/4/4.
This works fine as “auto-splinter” responding hands (with a long major) do not mind bidding beyond 3NT.

1 1
1NT 2
2 3

is 5=5 majors, game invitational. With only 5=4 majors, responder would start the same way but with 2 final bid instead of 3 (could do that with 5=5 also if only mildly invitational).

If responder, after 1-1-1NT, wants to make a splinter
in support of s, that can be done also with appropriate partnership agreements. We do it by going through the 2 relay:
1 1
1NT 2
2 3N/4
are splinters in support of s (3N=short , 4=short s)
That is admittedly slightly awkward in the 4 case as responder is bidding beyond 3NT, hence his hand must be good enough to sustain 4NT (particularly at matchpoints) if opener is not interested in a slam (at IMPs, might play 5).

When responder's major is s, i.e. 1m-1-1NT, and he wants to splinter in support of opener's minor, this method works even better as in those cases after the 2-2 relay, responder's splinter rebids are 3 and 3NT, so partnership can stop in 3NT in both cases.
Sept. 5
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Even on your contrived example, 3 was makeable on 86 deals out of 100 in a simulation I did, and 2NT was makeable on 68 deals in the same simulation.

Meanwhile, what if partner holds:
Txxxx-KQxx-xx-Jx ??

Now, if you rebid 2 instead of 2 as you should, you will play 2 with 4 almost cold (of course, if partner has that hand, you might not reach 4 even after the reverse,
e.g. 1-1-2-2N-3-3-Pass ?).
Sept. 5
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Of course it is forcing. North's 3 is a GF.
Even if I somehow thought 4 was NF (I don't), I would not contemplate passing with the 16 HCP 5=5 South hand.

Regarding “Negative Free Bids”, even for those who play them, they are generally played no higher than 3, so would not apply to 1-(2)-3.
Sept. 5
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 5
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Both 3 and 4 here are (or should be) “fit showing.”

However, I do not think either of those choices are on the mark with this hand.

A simple pre-emptive jump to 4 seems best.
Sept. 5
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I don't understand the angst about this hand being so dreadful that we must distort our bidding (by passing 2) out of sheer terror that “partner might bid again” (the horror!).

Those two major suit jacks are HUGE on this auction.
And we have a minor suit ace to cover one of partner's short suit losers.

Sure, this hand is a relatively minimum response, but it is certainly not sub-standard in any way.

I gave an example of a possible 10 count opposite that would make 4 an excellent contract.

Surely we don't have to be afraid of bidding 2 here.
Sept. 5
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From Bridge World Standard system notes:
"Negative doubles:
A negative double at the one-level or when there is
exactly one unbid major guarantees at least four cards
in any unbid major (opener may rebid in a three-card
suit there in a pinch);"

OP hand seems appropriate for the application of the above “in a pinch” clause.

Besides, had the auction been 1-1-?? (i.e. no interference), I certainly would have raised to 2. The (1) overcall would seem to make the raise even more appealing.
Sept. 4
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 4
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without interference, I would have rebid 2.
I'm wondering why I did not do that anyway over (2)?
Sept. 4
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.
Sept. 4
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 4
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I actually consider “spiral” a rather bad convention which I (reluctantly) play because of the “danger” that we may have only a 4-3 fit in the major.

And that danger is particularly acute when responder has slam aspirations.

Therefore, I think it is better to (generally) confine the use of the artificial 2NT inquiry to responding hands with only 4 cards in the major.

That way, *other* rebids by responder promise 5+ cards in the major so opener doesn't have to worry whether the trump fit is adequate or not and can instead focus on evaluating his “fit” opposite the feature revealed by responder's second bid.

But I have had partner's ask “can I ever bid sprial with 5+ in my major?”.

The answer is “of course you can, if you believe the information you will gain from partner's structured reply will be what you need to know how best to continue.”

But I just find that *usually* with 5+ in the major, some descriptive rebid (by responder) works better than an artificial “spiral” inquiry.
Sept. 4
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I like the idea of now using 2 as a natural positive in s, similar to what 2 or 2 would show except that responder's suit is s.

Further, one can benefit additionally from the two new calls the opponent has made available (Pass and redouble) by getting rid of the ambiguity of the “normal” waiting 2, namely whether responder has a “second negative” (i.e. bust) hand or sufficient values for game.

I'm assuming their double shows s.
Sept. 4
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I voted for 15-17 with appropriate shape and stoppers because that is how we play it. Actually, usually 16-17.

But obviously it is also “purely a matter of partnership agreement” as is the meaning of virtually every sequence.
Sept. 4
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We now use this sequence to show 5=6 majors, game-forcing, “pure” hand type, likely with slam interest.

*Formerly* we used it to show an “auto-splinter” with long (6+) s and short s.

But the 5=6 GF hand type, although not too common, often has big slam potential becuase of the big shape.

So how do we show the auto-splinter with short s??
I'm glad you asked:
1m 1
1N <4/4/4>
are the auto-splinters with short // respectively.

So how do we “sign-off” in 4s with 6+ s and enough for game with no slam interest??
I'm glad you asked:
1M 1
1N 2
2 4

will do the job. One could alternatively start with a 2
(artificial GF) rebid, then 4. Or use both sequences with some useful distinction.
Sept. 4
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